|Scream 4 (stylized as SCRE4M) is a 2011 American slasher film and the fourth installment in the Scream film series. Directed by Wes Craven and written by Kevin Williamson, writer of Scream and Scream 2, the film stars an ensemble cast which includes David Arquette, Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, Emma Roberts, and Hayden Panettiere.
The plot involves Sidney Prescott returning to Woodsboro after ten years as part of her book tour. As soon as she arrives, Ghostface once again begins killing students from Woodsboro High, including her younger cousin’s friends. Prescott, Gale Weathers-Riley, and Dewey Riley once again team up to stop the murders, but not before having to learn from a new generation the “new rules” of surviving horror films.
Originally, the series was intended to be a trilogy, but after ten years, Bob Weinstein thought it was the right time for another film. Depending on the box office, Scream 4 is intended to be the first of a new trilogy. Williamson had to leave production early due to contractual obligations and Ehren Kruger (Scream 3) was brought in for re-writes. Campbell, Arquette and Cox are the only returning cast members from the previous films and were the first to sign on to the film in September 2009. Panettiere and Rory Culkin were the first of the new cast to sign on in May 2010. Ashley Greene was initially the choice of the lead character, Jill, but the role eventually went to Roberts. Filming took place in and around Ann Arbor, Michigan in June 2010 to September 2010, with re-shoots in early 2011.
Scream 4 was released on April 15, 2011 to mixed reviews. It took in $19.3 million its opening weekend in the United States and Canada, making it the second-lowest opening since the first film.
On the fifteenth anniversary of the original Woodsboro murders, high school students Jenny Randall (Aimee Teegarden) and Marnie Cooper (Brittany Robertson) are attacked and brutally killed by a new Ghostface.
The following day, Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) returns to Woodsboro to promote her new book with her publicist Rebecca Walters (Alison Brie). Sidney becomes a suspect in the murders after evidence is found in her rental car, and she must stay in town until the murders are solved. Her cousin, Jill (Emma Roberts), who is dealing with the betrayal of her ex-boyfriend, Trevor Sheldon (Nico Tortorella) gets a threatening phone call from Ghostface, as does her friend Olivia Morris (Marielle Jaffe). Jill and Olivia, alongside their friend Kirby Reed (Hayden Panettiere), are questioned about their calls by Dewey Riley (David Arquette), who is now the sheriff of the town, and one of his deputies, Judy Hicks (Marley Shelton). Meanwhile, Dewey’s now-wife, Gale Weathers-Riley (Courteney Cox), is struggling with writer’s block.
Sidney stays with her aunt Kate Roberts (Mary McDonnell). Later that night, Olivia, who lives next door to Jill, is attacked and murdered by Ghostface as Jill and Kirby watch in horror while Sidney was interrupted by a scream while reading her book. Sidney and Jill were injured in their attempt to save Olivia, and are taken to the hospital, where her publicist Rebecca is murdered in the parking garage. Gale, trying to solve the murders, enlists the help of two high school movie geeks, Charlie Walker (Rory Culkin) and Robbie Mercer (Erik Knudsen), who explain that the killer is using the rules of movie remakes to murder. Charlie concludes that the killer will probably strike at a party being held that night.
Gale goes to the party to investigate, but is attacked and injured by Ghostface, who flees as Dewey arrives. He has her taken to the hospital. Shortly afterwards, at Jill’s house, policemen Anthony Perkins (Anthony Anderson) and Ross Hoss (Adam Brody) are found dead. Sidney discovers that Jill has left and gone to Kirby’s house, and goes down to tell Kate, but the killer arrives and chases them. Kate is killed. After Deputy Judy Hicks arrives, Sidney rushes to Kirby’s house to save Jill on her own.
Jill, Kirby, Charlie, Robbie and Trevor are at Kirby’s house when Ghostface appears and murders a drunken Robbie. Sidney arrives at the house. Kirby is forced to answer horror movie trivia to save Charlie, who is tied up outside. Sidney goes upstairs to find Jill, promising to return to Kirby. Believing she has won Ghostface’s game, Kirby goes outside to untie Charlie, but he stabs her in the stomach and reveals himself as Ghostface. Charlie and his accomplice attack Sidney, the accomplice is revealed to be Jill. She explains that she wants the attention Sidney got, and that the two want to become famous for being the survivors of the murders and framing Trevor for it; she then pulls him out of a closet and executes him with a shot to the head. Jill then betrays Charlie and kills him too, to pin him as Trevor’s accomplice, making her the sole survivor. Jill stabs Sidney in the stomach and mutilates herself to make it seem as if Trevor attacked her, while Dewey, Judy, and the rest of the police stumble in on the carnage.
Jill is then taken to the hospital. After discovering that Sidney had survived, she goes to Sidney’s hospital room and attempts to murder her. Just in time, Dewey, Gale, and Judy arrives to help her, having been clued by a detail about Gale’s injury that Jill somehow knew. Jill subdues Sidney’s rescuers, which gives Sidney the chance to attack Jill with a defibrillator and then shoot her in the chest, killing her. Dewey calls in all police units, as media reporters outside confirm Jill as the “sole-surviving hero”.